Display Advertising Is Not Dying, It’s Just Evolving
Here at FVM, we’re the first to talk about the merits of embracing content marketing for reaching customers in new and innovative ways. That said, the massive shift to social media does not signal the death of display advertising in any way. In fact it is only helping to accelerate the necessary evolution of display advertising.
What’s wrong with banner ads?
It should come as no surprise that traditional banner ads are viewed by many as white noise. After all, the average CTR is only about 0.1%, that’s 1 click for every 1,000 impressions. Part of the problem is the massive number of ads that are put in front of viewers. In 2011, every internet user viewed about 30,000 banner impressions. How many of those do you remember? Probably not a lot. Display advertising has become an annoyance, and not surprisingly, advertisers are abandoning banner ads except in direct response industries. The question is, how can advertisers and networks move the needle when it comes to display advertising?
Changing how we think about display advertising
Even with low CTR’s for years, display ads have remained a constant holdover from the earliest days of the internet. Why? Mostly due to the fact that banners are the closest thing the digital world has to traditional magazine or other print advertisements. Suddenly, with the explosion of mobile and social, publishers and content producers are now being challenged with finding new ways of engaging audiences. Advertisers must evolve not only their tactics, but the fundamental way they think about display advertising. Today’s digital experience is all about integration, not interruption. Here’s how display advertising is fighting of death and evolving in 2012 and beyond:
In-ad interactivity and engagement
If you’re not leveraging the power of the modern web in your display ads, you’re missing out a huge opportunity for clicks and conversions. Incorporating in-ad engagement opportunities such as videos, galleries, questionnaires, etc gives you an opportunity to make a valuable impression and increase brand awareness without pulling the visitor away from their desired content. Take a look at IAB’s Rising Stars video below for a few examples of new ways highly engaging ads are being served.
More targeted, relevant ad delivery
Every day more data about users is being shared with publishers and networks faster than ever before. This gives potential advertisers a very rich and real-time profile of your interests. Just like amazon shows you what other products were purchased with the item you’re viewing, ads can be delivered based on what other users are clicking on. This increases relevancy to users and effectiveness to advertisers thanks to bigger, faster data.
New metrics for measuring effectiveness
ROI is still the elephant in the room when it comes to display advertising, but new metrics are coming into play that will help change the CTR mindset. Neal Mohan, VP of Display Advertising at Google, a guy who knows a little bit about advertising metrics, predicts that 35% of campaigns will primarily use metrics outside of clicks and conversions. Instead, metrics more closely related to those of off-line advertising, such as emotional engagement and behavior impact, with become commonplace. A lofty notion, but when you look at online consumption compared to that of traditional channels, it’s time for digital measurements to evolve.
Display Advertising in 2012 and Beyond
How display advertising will look in the future is currently up for debate. Some suggest it’s already dead and the entire internet will become social, branded content. Others view display as a necessary revenue stream for publishers that is here to stay. What is clear is that there will be a change in the way online users perceive advertising. With more relevant ads being delivered in newer unique ways, the display ad industry is evolving to survive. It’s up to us as marketers to adapt measurement techniques in a changing landscape and find the best way to engage customers without interrupting their online experience with irrelevant noise.